Eating Protein Won’t Help Health of the Elderly

A new study has suggest that eating protein won’t help improve the health of older sedentary men. Lots of seniors are of the opinion that eating protein can help make them feel better and maintain muscle.

Study lead researcher Dr. Shalender Bhasin said it’s incredible how little evidence there is around how much protein we need in our diet, especially the value of high-protein intake.”

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Bhasin directs research in men’s health for the division of aging and metabolism at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. According to Bhasin during a news release:

“Despite a lack of evidence, experts continue to recommend high-protein intake for older men.

“We wanted to test this rigorously and determine whether protein intake greater than the recommended dietary allowance is beneficial in increasing muscle mass, strength and well-being.”

The new six-month study followed results for 78 men aged 65 and older.

The researchers discovered that those who ate more protein than recommended levels did not have increases in lean body mass, muscle performance, physical function or other measures of well-being, compared to men with normal levels of dietary protein.

Stephanie Schiff, nutritionist at Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y., who wasn’t involved in the study said the discoveries weren’t surprising.

“In the world of nutrition, many people consider extra protein to be a sort of magic bullet — whether it’s for weight loss, increased muscle size, decreased fatigue or general physical function,”

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However, Schiff pointed out that when we take in extra protein at levels above what our bodies will use, some of the excess turns to fat, while other protein is excreted through the kidneys.

Too much protein in the diet might even be harmful for people, especially those with a faulty kidney function, she added.

Schiff said that it is essential for men who want to preserve or grow muscles.


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